What is a “fast follower?” What’s a fast follower definition? Well, consider this: Bigfoot and the fast follower strategy have much in common. Namely, they’re both myths. Bigfoot, of course, is that Chewbacca-like beast that supposedly has roamed North America for thousands of years. And he (or she?) surely must be real because of all ... Read More
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The price premium your product gets is driven by its value over customers’ next-best alternative. Here’s the only reliable way to quantitatively assess competing products’ value.
b2bgrowth.video/36 Video length [2:41]
It’s natural to ruminate on the future; in particular, about technology adoption. What changes will future technology waves bring? Will we ride them to riches or drown under the weight of disruption? A Danish proverb warns that “Prediction is dangerous, especially about the future.” A cycle of bad logic Unfortunately, when we theorize, we can ... Read More
What is Blue Ocean Strategy? Blue Ocean Strategy is the process of targeting a combination of unmet customer needs for innovation that are currently underserved by traditional competitors. It’s one of those ideas that sounds obvious after someone explains it to you. But that is just the beginning… How should we think about Blue Ocean ... Read More
Learn these six ways to avoid the Commodity Death Spiral that short-term-thinking business leaders fall into: 1) Take ownership of your future. 2) Measure your progress. 3) Change your time horizon. 4) Work on high-impact products. 5) Get out more. 6) Directly engage your customers. ... Read More
While VOC is extremely important, the most overlooked practice in B2B product development today is competitive benchmarking. This should be done in the front-end of innovation using 4 steps: 1) Identify outcomes to benchmark, 2) Identify customers’ alternatives, 3) Identify test methods, and 4) Identify benchmark levels (how good is good enough?) ... Read More
Most B2B companies waste millions of dollars in failed product development. This often isn’t because their scientists can’t come up with good answers… but rather they’re working on the wrong questions. Good customer insight lets you move into the Non-Obvious zone, working on customer problems your competitors miss. ... Read More
We see three areas where leaders can have a greater negative impact on innovation than positive: 1) organizational friction (travel bans, spending freezes, hiring delays, excessive re-orgs, etc.) that slow innovation to a crawl, 2) spreading too few resources over too many projects so that nothing moves briskly, and 3) short-changing the front-end of innovation, so that a clear picture of customer needs is lacking. Companies pay a heavy price for keeping such leaders in place.
More in article, Accelerate New Product Innovation
Consider disruptors such as Amazon, Uber, Apple and Airbnb. If you make physical products, someone may “Amazon” you by surrounding their product with amazing services based on the internet-of-things and artificial intelligence. That’s just one example. Stop relying on Porter’s Five Forces (e.g. barriers to competition) to protect you, and begin thinking how you can be the disrupter, not the disruptee. Check out these free FutureScenes® trends sheets for idea-starters.
More in FutureScenes sheets at www.futurescenes.com
Are you Newton’s object continuing in the same direction and speed… or are you the force acting on the object? Your company may think it can keep doing what it’s always done. But if your competitors learn how to understand unmet customers’ needs first, they will be the force that changes your direction (down) and speed (slower)… in their favor. Inertia is not your friend. Learning and change are.
More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth
On average, you and your competitors will grow at the same rate as the markets you serve. Don’t feel entitled to this. If a competitor develops a blockbuster, you’ll be happy to minimize your sales decline. Thinking otherwise is like 1970’s Detroit auto-makers assuming Japanese competitors would keep producing junk.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 15).
These may be the same… or not. If you make welding machines, your customers’ alternatives may be mechanical fasteners or epoxy adhesive. When you have a choice between supplier-centric or customer-centric thinking, always choose the latter. Exploring customers’ alternatives passes this customer-centricity test.
More in article, Benchmarking for B2B Product Innovation
B2C employees (e.g. Apple engineers) are consumers themselves, so they have high typical customer insight… but low potential insight, since consumers can’t easily predict what will entertain them. The gap between typical and potential insight when serving knowledgeable B2B customers is much larger. This is your competitive edge if you close the gap before competitors.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 13).
Some voice-of-customer experts recommend you exclude your salesforce from interviews because “they can sell but not listen.” True sales professionals are actually great listeners: You just need to reward them for listening. Strengthen listening and learning by your entire team, and you’ll out-perform competitors who side-line their sales pros when gathering market insights.
More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 24).